USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, rain showers are spreading across the upper Midwest, curtailing pre-planting fieldwork. "In the eastern Corn Belt, however, warm, dry weather is promoting some initial corn planting efforts," USDA adds.
In the West, USDA reports rainfall associated with an approaching storm is just starting to move into western Washington. "Elsewhere, warm, dry weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development," USDA adds. In California, however, USDA explains early-season heat is boosting irrigation demands.
On the Plains, USDA says beneficial showers dot portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. "However, significant rainfall largely bypassed the drought-stricken southern High Plains, where a substantial percentage of rangeland, pastures, and winter grains are rated in very poor to poor condition," USDA details.
In the South, USDA says cool weather lingers along the southern Atlantic Coast. "Elsewhere, mild, dry weather generally favors fieldwork and crop growth," USDA continues. However, fields remain wet in parts of the Southeast — especially from central Mississippi to southern Georgia and northern Florida — following last week’s heavy rainfall, according to USDA.
In its outlook, USDA says during the next five days, three storm systems will cross the nation from west to east. "The first storm, currently centered over the southern Plains, will reach the Atlantic Seaboard by Tuesday night," USDA reports. The second system will arrive in the Pacific Northwest later today, cross the nation’s mid-section at mid-week, and traverse the Great Lakes region on Friday, USDA continues. "The third storm system will arrive in the West toward week’s end," USDA adds. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 2 to 4 inches in the Pacific Northwest and 1 to 2 inches in the northern Rockies and from the upper Midwest to New England, USDA elaborates. "In contrast, mostly dry weather will persist from southern California to the southern High Plains, where windy conditions may result in an elevated risk of wildfires," USDA continues. Farther east, strong thunderstorms may affect portions of the nation’s mid-section, especially on April 23, according to USDA.